Civil Peace: Class 11 English Exercise

Civil Peace: Class 11 English Exercise

  UNIT - 1.5  
CIVIL PEACE

Chinua Achebe (1930 - 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. He studied English, history, and theology at University college, the University of Ibadan. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958) is the most widely read book in modern African literature.

 ðŸ”† Understanding the text 

Answer the following questions.

a. Why did Jonathan think of himself as 'extraordinarily lucky'?

Ans: Jonathan thought of himself as 'extraordinarily lucky' because he survived in the Civil War with his wife and children.

b. What are the 'five blessings' for which Jonathan is grateful? 

Ans: The five blessings' for which Jonathan is grateful are his head, his wife Maria's head and the heads of three out of their four children.

c. Why did Jonathan mistrust the officer who wanted to take his bicycle? What does this tell you about the situation in Nigeria?

Ans: Jonathan mistrusted the officer who wanted to take his bicycle because of his certain lack of grip and control in his manner. He saved his bicycle giving two pounds to the officer. It reveals corruption and dishonesty prevailed in the Nigerian society as effect of the civil war.

d. What visitors might be at the door? Are Jonathan and his wife completely surprised? Explain. 

Ans: The people who are at the door are thieves. He and his family shout for help but nobody came. The leader demands 100 pounds. Jonathan says that he doesn't have that much money. All he has is 20 pounds that he receives at the treasury. The leader decides to accept the amount. Jonathan gives it to him, and thieves go away.

e. Why does no one in the neighborhood respond when the thieves pound on Jonathan's door? Why do the thieves call for the police?

Ans: No one in the neighborhood responds when the thieves pound on Jonathan's door because they are frightened of the thieves. They call for the police to make fun of Jonathan and his family.


 ðŸ”† Reference to the context

a. What does Jonathan mean by his expression "Nothing puzzles God"? What does this expression reveal about his character? Explain by citing details from the story.

Ans: In this story "Civil Peace", Jonathan uses the expression "Nothing puzzles God" whenever something miraculous happens with him. He does so to convey both his deep religious faith and his gloomy outlook. He understands that he has no control over fate and insteads focuses on the future. By "Nothing Puzzles God" he means that anything can happen, but almighty God, being omniscient, is not surprised and even puzzled by anything. He means to say that God knows everything.

This expression reveals that he is a quite optimistic Person who has a good belief in the almighty God. He feels too delighted to get miracles in his life. This expression also reveals that he is a good person who enjoy everything he has but never complain about his losses.

b. How does Jonathan change as he experiences the conflicts in his life? Explain.

Ans: Jonathan is quite unaffected by the events of the civil war and their after affects because he always maintains a positive outlook. He becomes more and more willing to part with material possessions and financial resources in order to safeguard the things that are most important to him and his family. As a result of his preparedness, he is able to focus on the present and not dwell on the past. Throughout the story, he maintains an unwavering sense of optimism.

c. Read the extract and answer the questions below.
"To God who made me; if you come inside and find one hundred pounds, take it frailty and shoot me and shoot my wife and children. I swear to God. The only money and nat have in this life is this twenty pounds egg-rasher they gave me today".

i. Who is the speaker?

Ans: The speaker is Jonathan Iwegbu.

ii. Who is the speaker talking to?

Ans: The speaker is talking to the thieves.

iii. Who does "they" refer to?

Ans: "They" refers to the government officals who are in the department of the government's treasury.

d. Nigerian English has words like soja 'soldier' and katakata 'confusion', 'trouble' derived apparently from English words but transformed by native languages phonologies. What does the author's use of dialect here add to the story?

Ans: The author added dialect here in the story inorder to focus on the native languages and to promote the dialects. It has made the story more typical and credible as there are both Indigenous and Standard language. Characters were given a distinct Nigerian flavour via the usage of dialect for the sake of representing Nigerian's multilingual history, he adopted a Nigerian accent in English.

e. Why do you think the thieves who come to rob Jonathan speak English with a heavier African accent than Jonathan does?

Ans: In my opinion, the thieves who came to rob Jonathan Speak English with a heavier African accent than Jonathan because they wanted to show, they were superior and strong enough. Here, Jonathan english shows a high level of education whereas the thieves' english shows a low level.

f. The title of the story "Civil Peace" itself is ironical as there is little to differentiate 'civil peace' from 'civil war'. Do you think that the title of this story is appropriate, or would "Civil War" have been a better title? Explain.

Ans: The title of Chinua Achebe's short story" Civil Peace" is especially interesting because it is used in an ironic Sense. In my opinion, the title of the story "Civil Peace" is appropriate because even though the war had come to an end, the areas was still chaotic and filled with Strife but Jonathan's family were searching for happiness and peace. Even in that dark time, there was a burning candle of hope in Jonathan's family which was continuously providing power to keep moving dispite all the miseries. The main motive of this story is to teach us to find good and positive parts even in negativity. So, the title of this story is perfectly fine.


🔆 Reference beyond the text

a. How would you describe the civil peace in Nigeria?

Ans: Even though the war has ended, real peace has not been achieved in Nigeria. After the war, the time of the civil Peace was the time of the resettlement. There was nothing new for people. People had to face various problems during that time. Thieves used to loot and beat people anytime without having any fear of law.

b. What kind of attitude towards life do you think you would have if your situation was similar to that of Jonathan's?

Ans: If my situation was similar to Jonathan's, I would try to stay away from the place where there is lot of violence. I would make every effort to retain faith in God for the sake of my family's well-being by working hard.

c. Draw the character sketch of Jonathan Iwegbu.

Ans: Jonathan has a great faith in God and is a very upbeat Person. He's always saying, "Nothing puzzles, God" in the name of God. He becomes quite delighted to find miracles in his life. He never lives in disparity. He is a hard working person who thinks positively for everyone. He is one-dimensional character who doesn't change throughout the story. He likes to spent time dealing with the present than dwelling on the past. He maintains his head held high and faces the challenges that lie ahead. When things become tough, he puts his family needs ahead of his own. He is a hard worker who considers the interest of other while making decisions He has a great deal of affection for his family.

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